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Senator Tommy Tuberville argues Navy is ‘too awake’ because ‘people make poems on aircraft carriers’

  • Senator Tommy Tuberville says the US Navy is too awake, citing a poetry night on an aircraft carrier.

  • “It is absolutely insane which way we are going with our military,” Tuberville told Fox News.

  • A senior naval official likened Tuberville’s blockade of military promotions to Russian roulette.

Senator Tommy Tuberville denounced the US Navy after one of its top officials called the Alabama Republican to account for his refusal to end his controversial blockade of hundreds of military promotions, creating unprecedented job opportunities in the US armed forces.

“Secretary [Carlos] Del Toro of the Navy, he needs to start building ships, recruiting, and he needs to wake up from our Navy,” Tuberville said Wednesday night on Fox News. speaker. It’s absolutely insane which way we’re going with our military.”

On CNN, Del Toro and the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force, each the top civilian official in their service department, criticized Tuberville for refusing to give in to his controversial hold on promotions that the Senate must approve. They echoed an op-ed published Monday in The Washington Post.

“I would argue that Tommy Tuberville, which he is actually doing, is playing Russian roulette with the lives of our military by denying them the opportunity to have the most experienced combat leaders in those positions to lead them in times of peace and in times of peace. times of struggle,” Del Toro told CNN.

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Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and Senator Jack Reed at an industry conference in Newport, Rhode Island on Aug. 28, 2023.US Navy/MCS2 Theodore C. Lee

Tuberville has complained about a Pentagon policy that allows reimbursement for personnel who must travel to access reproductive services, including abortions, but has also used the controversy to further question the state of the military.

The Tuberville office said the poetry commentary referenced an LGBTQ spoken word night held aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford, one of the country’s 11 aircraft carriers. At an April hearing, Tuberville pressured Rear Admiral Mike Gilday, the Navy’s top officer at the time, about the event.

“I’ll tell you why I’m particularly proud of this sailor,” Gilday replied. “Her grandfather served during World War II, and he was gay, and he was expelled from the institution that she not only joined and is proud to be a part of, but also volunteered to join Ford to be used. again next month when Ford goes to sea again.”

While the Alabama senator has previously criticized the poetry night, his comments on Wednesday seem to have struck a chord. Legislators, commentators, and others pointed to the long history of military poetry.

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Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California pointed out that “In Flanders Fields,” a famous World War I poem, was written by a Canadian military officer. General George Patton, nicknamed “old blood and guts,” wrote more than 80 poems during his lifetime. American sailors even have a tradition of writing their first deck log of the new year in verse, as described in The Washington Post.

Sailor Poem Navy Amphibious Assault Ship

An aviation support equipment technician reads a poem about aviation support equipment (AS) technicians to celebrate 50 years of the AS rate aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard on Feb. 24, 2016.US Navy/MCS3 Jeanette Mullinax

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer could break Tuberville’s power, but that would require a vote on each nominee, which would take months, according to Senator Jack Reed, the chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, of which Tuberville is a member.

Winning positions of power that way also risks setting a precedent about treating previously uncontroversial military promotions as political nominations. The Democrats have said it’s up to the Republicans to convince Tuberville to give in.

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They have also continued their attacks because of the effect Tuberville’s holds are having on the military.

“It’s crippling, and I really want people to understand that what Tuberville and others are basically saying is that they don’t believe in democracy,” Washington Representative Adam Smith, the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, said at a news conference. . the Defense News Conference on Wednesday. “They believe what they want should happen and if they don’t get it, they’re going to tear everything down.”

Sailor Poem Abraham Lincoln Aircraft Carrier

A sailor reads a poem during a poetry slam aboard the United States Navy aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln on December 12, 2017.US Navy/MCS3 Jeff Sherman

The Tuberville holds affected hundreds of military officers, including 86 in the United States Navy and Navy Reserve. Among them is Admiral Lisa Franchetti, who was tapped by President Joe Biden to replace Gilday and who would be the first woman to join the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Franchetti is both vice chief of naval operations, her previous position, and acting chief of naval operations. General Eric Smith, nominated as Commander of the Marine Corps, also serves as Assistant Commandant, his previous post, and Acting Commander. Neither of them can take their new job until they are confirmed.

“It’s not sustainable to do that,” Smith said at the conference Wednesday, describing it as “three” full-time jobs.

‘The service manager of any service already has two full-time jobs. One is the service chief. The other is a member of the Joint Chiefs. Those are two very different and equally important duties, and as I’ve heard from senior officers before, you can’t misunderstand the part of the Joint Chiefs, because that is to provide advice through the Secretary of Defense to the President.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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